Losing a job is devastating for any employee, as is evident from emotional scenes at Amazon and heartbreaking stories share on LinkedIn. There's no good way of breaking the news of a layoff to people hit by it, even though CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai took responsibility and assured sacked employees of support. But the worst thing a leader can do while firing people enmasse over rising costs, is to glorify themselves using historic quotes.
That's what the CEO of US-based PagerDuty did in her email announcing a seven per cent reduction of the workforce. The chief executive Jennifer Tejada faced an online backlash for quoting civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr in the email. After describing layoffs as a way to refine the workforce she quoted the line, "the ultimate measure of a (leader) is not where (they) stand in the moments of comfort and convenience, but where (they) stand in times of challenge and controversy."
In the email that was informing people that they have been sacked for cost cutting, Tejada mentioned how the firm is on track to execute its stategy despite the adverse macroenvironment. She also celebrated promotion of some of the staff members in the same email, which naturally got slammed online as disgusting and tone deaf.
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